Conveniently located in the waterfront Eagle Street Pier dining precinct, Saké is definitely one of the hottest restaurants in Brisbane. Serving contemporary Japanese cuisine by sushi master Shaun Presland and gourmet guru Shinichi Maeda winning the coveted Chef’s Hat in the Queensland Good Food Guide awards.
“winning the coveted Chef’s Hat in the Queensland Good Food Guide awards”
Discovering Saké and its acclaimed Chef’s Hat I was more than enthusiastic to finally dine there.
Loudly greeted in Japanese by the chefs from the open kitchen and the beautiful boat lights of Eagle Street Pier shining in through the big glass windows, I could not wait to get my hands on the menu.
I was especially enchanted by the chic designer setting and deluxe but relaxed atmosphere. The layout has been cleverly designed to cater for those eating on their own, couples and bigger groups. It impressed me that a restaurant of this caliber had thoughtfully accommodated lone diners, which is rare for this type of dining experience.
Service was very attentive and friendly, the staff are definitely very well informed about menu choices and their drink menu is not to be brushed aside either. The menu design was a little disappointing, tattered and folded paper doesn’t really suit the overall feel of quality about this place.
After pondering over the mouthwatering choices for what seemed like an eternity, as I could not make my mind up, I finally succumbed to the call of the Tuna Tasting Plate (AUD 30,-) as a starter and Chef Shinichi’s Selection, a 7 course culinary degustation (AUD 115,-) as my main meal and a small carafe of Kozaemon Sake (AUD 27,-) to start off.
“succumbed to the call of the Tuna Tasting Plate“
The waitress was honest enough to mention that I wouldn’t need the appetizer but I told her I couldn’t battle my curiosity and desire for the tuna.
I was told to start from the left side and work my way through the variety of fresh textures up to the sake shots at the end. The tuna was sublimely fresh and I loved how the textures could be so different in each piece. Don’t be fooled, it is sugar rimmed on the sake glass, not salt! My favorite out of the three was hands down the tuna tacos at the end as the crispy texture of the taco was washed down beautifully with the sake. Very clever!
Being a natural oyster lover, I’m usually skeptical of oysters with additional ingredients or unorthodox cooking methods. Skeptically lifting the shot which contained an oyster, some microscopically diced concoction of spring onions and radish mixed with salty elements of dashi jelly and tiny balls of fish roe. I was pleasantly surprised of how delicious the savory combination was. The saltiness of the oyster and the jagged texture of the fish roe was absolutely divine, it was if I was eating a liquid seafood salad with little pallet explosions left right and center.
“little pallet explosions left right and center”
The duo of pork nikogori with plum sauce was very gentle on the tastebuds, the plum sauce wasn’t overbearingly sweet and was a perfect finish and tribute to the oyster shot.
As far as presentation goes, this is not what I expected. Looking at the picture, you will notice that as delicious and fresh looking as it is, there is a distinct lack of organization and decor when compared to the other dishes. The picture is pretty much self explanatory but I was quite disappointed when it arrived at my table as my first impression was for it to be like any other sashimi platter that I could find elsewhere.
I quickly swallowed my thoughts as it became immediately obvious that this dish did its talking in taste. The fish was one of the freshest I had ever put to my lips and not failing to mention that the cuts were generous but not overwhelming. The quality of wasabi was potent but smooth. Without good wasabi any sashimi wont taste the same.
“touch of green tea for a delicate infusion”
Presentation wise, this dish beat the rest. It looked as if the eel was hiding in its little underwater cave! Unfortunately at this point I was already stuffed beyond belief but of course, continued eating as I could not resist. I enjoyed the fact that the fresh NSW (New South Wales) eel was done up in two different ways, one steamed and the other grilled on rice and came with a collection of sansho pepper, wasabi & grated daikon (white radish) for dipping. For looking this glorious, it was subtle in regards to actual flavor.
Red-eyed Geisha (AUD 20,-) – Hennesy VS Cognac, Grand Marnier, fresh lemon, hibiscus & kaffir lime syrup.
Tel +61 (7) 3015 0557
Level 1, 45 Eagle Street, Eagle Street Pier Brisbane QLD 4000
(Also available in Sydney & Melbourne. Reviews are to come!)